Based on the upcoming film of the same name, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters follows a different story to the films. Putting you into the super green boots of Hal Jordan, the newest recruit to the Lantern Corps, a kind of intergalactic peace keeping force, you're plunged into the deep end when the Guardians home planet (the leaders of the Lantern Corps) comes under attack by a group of robots called the Manhunters. It's a surprisingly interesting story to accompany the action, even if it isn't the main reason you'll buy the game.
Fully playable in two player, drop-in, drop-out co-op, Green Lantern lets your friend jump in at any time, taking over another Lantern who, strangely, has bright red skin. Affectionately nicknamed Burnt Face Man by us, our super duo set out on our quest, to smite the Manhunters that stood in our way.
For the majority of each level, you'll simply be moving from platform to platform, taking out the Manhunters that attack. You can do a basic attack by pressing X, or a strong one by pressing Y, although the different types of enemies that attack you - some are huge, some with shields, each require a different strategy to take down. So far, so boring you may be thinking - but you're wrong. This isn't just a standard beat 'em up. You're a super hero. Super. And that means you get super powers.
Being the Green Lantern, you wear a magic ring, which grants you your super powers, and lets you summon "hard light" objects - basically holographic projections that are actually solid - and it's through using these that the game really get good. While you'll be smashing enemies around with a virtual sword, or mallet with your normal attacks, if you Press B, you'll be able to grab an enemy with a giant, stretchy light hand. Press B again, and you'll hurl them practically at the speed of light wherever you want them to go - into a wall, at another enemy, or even off a cliff. Entire packs of enemies can be decimated by simply picking them up, and hurling them off the nearest cliff, which was enough to raise a smirk with us.
As you progress through the levels, beating enemies up, you'll gain experience, which in turn can be used to unlock special abilities. Of these, the constructs are the most interesting, as these allow you to access all new weapons. With twelve to unlock - eight of which can be assigned at any one time, you access these by holding the left or right trigger, and then pressing either A, X, Y or B depending on the move you want to use. And oh my, is it worth it.
These are your tools of destruction - the way you'll manage to fight off the hordes and survive. Whether you're creating a virtual mine, and lobbing it at an enemy, generating two giant maces, and swinging them into anyone who comes near, or simply summoning a giant, green baseball bat and hitting a home run on anyone who stands in your way, the constructs are ridiculously over the top - but so, so fun. And after all - you're a super hero. Who said your weapons should be normal?
From time to time, the action gets broken down with a puzzle, which provide a much appreciated distraction from the carnage. From standard switch puzzles, which see you smashing things with your hammer in order to rotate a giant mechanism on the floor, to a later puzzle which relies on observation, as you need to put giant energy orbs into the sockets shown by some random hyroglyphic-like drawings sketched onto the walls, there's a surprising amount of variety here for when your fingers are starting to wear out from the button mashing.
But perhaps most importantly, what oozes out of Green Lantern is fun. It's fun playing in co-op - but it's even more fun being a super hero. Chucking people around so effortlessly is fun, hitting them for miles with your giant green baseball bat is fun, and being able to leap, and hover slightly in the air looks ridiculous - and so is funny. It's a game that'll have you grinning from ear to ear - especially as you figure out ways to use the combos together. One thing we discovered only last night was that one player can grab an enemy, while the other attacks them. Randomly plucking an enemy out of the crowd, bringing them close, and then hitting a home run bring a whole new meaning to co-op gameplay.
So, where's the downside? Well, unfortunately, Green Lantern does have a few problems that stop it achieving greatness. Firstly, your co-op partner won't earn any achievements as they play along with you, which is quickly becoming our largest irritation with co-op games. A far bigger problem comes from the flying levels, which, sadly, are a bit dull. Without the superpowers to rely on, and with a dodgy aiming reticule making your job harder than it should be, you'll be glad when the flying stages are over - but luckily, they're few and far between. Not so luckily, is the fact that general levels in this game are few and far between too. With just ten levels on offer, it can't possibly justify the £32.99 Game are asking for it.
Should Green Lantern drop to £19.99 or lower over the next few weeks, however, this is a game you should really consider picking up. If you're looking for a game to play with your other half, or your child, you'll find few games that are more unashamedly fun than this. Despite having the weight of the world on their shoulders, it turns out being a superhero's a lot more fun that you'd imagine. Who knew?
- Ridiculously fun.
- Hilarious combat.
- Potential to use co-op moves together.
- Too short!
- Second player doesn't earn achievements.
- Disappointing flying levels.